Fiddler on the Roof - Research Article from St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture

Joseph Stein
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Fiddler on the Roof

One of the most important musicals of the 1960s, in many ways Fiddler on the Roof represents the end of the classic mid-twentieth century American musical theater. The tale of Tevye, a Jewish peasant in turn-of-the-century Russia, and his difficulties with maintaining tradition in the midst of change, has had universal appeal ever since its premiere in 1964. The score includes the hit songs "Tradition," "To Life," "If I Were a Rich Man," and "Sunrise, Sunset."

Zero Mostel in Fiddler on the Roof. Zero Mostel in Fiddler on the Roof.

In the early 1960s, composer Jerry Bock, lyricist Sheldon Harnick, and librettist Joseph Stein decided that they wanted to write a musical together. After looking at numerous potential plot sources, they chose Sholom Aleichem's short story "Tevye and His Daughters." The trio persuaded Harold Prince to produce the show, who in turn advised them to engage Jerome Robbins as director-choreographer...

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This section contains 815 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Fiddler on the Roof Encyclopedia Article
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St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture
Fiddler on the Roof from St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.